Various Gatecrasher: Global Sound System

Global Sound System is the recent release from Gatecrasher, a club with humble beginnings in 1993, which has since evolved into becoming a home for trans-national progressive and deep trance. Fuelled by extravagant parties and a brand name to go with it, the club has firmly established itself with this new release, which it is taking to major cities on a worldwide tour. Listening to the nuances of this two-CD set in part requires the context of a waning trance scene in Britain, in the midst of which Gatecrasher's release has come as a refreshing and welcome surprise. Household names such as Paul Van Dyk and Oliver Lieb are present in the mix and Van Dyk's "Love from Above" has all the intensity of a standout track. Moby's "Natural Blues" and BT's "Dreaming," also found on the mix of German trance DJ HH's Mix in Motion, makes a reappearance here. The bigger names are side by side with underground talents such as Subtle By Design and Flutlicht. The first CD is definitely a deep-trance set where the 4/4 sound is tempered with heavy atmospherics and spaced-out soundscapes, all in keeping with a trance-inducing mood. There are some oddly kitsch-y dance numbers, in the likes of Terra Ferma's "Keep Moving," which are coupled with an esoteric track by Human Movement, featuring Sophie Moleta, which is a sweet fusion of trance and Celtic-sounding vocals. Apart from these, there is a resonance in some tracks that resembles Underworld, from their contributions to the film Shallow Grave, though Underworld are not featured on the compilation. The second CD, in contrast, has a harder 4/4 sound and a defined sense of urgency running through it. This is definitely an achievement for Gatecrasher, as far as reviving the trance scene goes; the mix on both CDs is sophisticated and inspired. But it's unlikely that it will win any new converts and whether that matters for the waning scene or not is a question only they can answer. (INCredible)